Farewell Cody

My mother-in-law put her sweet old dog to sleep yesterday. Cody was an Italian Greyhound who, as a puppy, rode in her handbag in the grocery store. She loved to see the faces of the little kids who spotted him in her bag. The adults never noticed. My girls loved Cody. The little one would laugh at him while the big one offered him dog biscuits. Cody got about 10,000 biscuits from her… last Sunday. He will be missed!
Although deciding the fate of a living being is the hardest thing to do, it’s a blessing that we can aide our beloved pets as they ease into death so gracefully. They don’t have to suffer a long and painful illness; their quality of life never has to be compromised. It’s almost cruel that our human companions don’t have this option.
It’s especially excruciating for grieving family members to decide how to honor these ailing loved ones’ last wishes if they haven’t been told what they are.
I know that I need to make a living will before I go into surgery. I have been counseled to do so due to the obvious risks. I think everyone should have a living will. Life is unpredictable. This is morbid, but say tragedy struck and someone had to decide (without a directive) how to handle a loved one’s passing when doctors have said they would not have quality of life anymore. I think it would depend on the personality of the individual deciding. Put them on a respirator for as long as it took scientists to find a cure (the optimist)? Take them home to die a peaceful death without machines in the comfort of their home (the realist, perhaps)? Or pull the plug but freeze their head cryogenically for the future when we all know our bodies will be robotic anyway (the sci-fi lover)? Whatever happens, if you don’t have a living will, you better think about the personality of your next of kin and what they would do to you. Drafting a little legal paperwork doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

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